The name refers to the devotion of the local inhabitants towards St. Mauro, one of the first disciples of St. Benedict, who quickly spread the cult of religious faith in France and throughout the Piedmont Region. It is a town near Turin on the slopes of the hill, divided in two by the river: the Old Town located on the right bank of the Po, while the newer part is on the left side.
The main center developed around the Abbey, built between the VIII and IX centuries, on an earlier Roman settlement. It appears mentioned for the first time in a document dating back to 991 with the name of Pucherada, in which is stated the commitment of the Marquis of Monferrato to rebuild the Benedictine abbey, which was destroyed by a Saracen incursion. After year 1000 in a period of tranquility and great development the town was reconstructed and the abbot administered the civil and religious life. The town was donated to the Church of Susa.
Involved in the clashes between the Savoy and the Marquis of Monferrato, due to its strategic location, the town ended up suffering heavy damage and then declined gradually and lost the identity of the town in the second half of the XV century. During the next century the inhabitants of San Mauro obtained a series of autonomy statutes from the less powerful abbots, which were consolidated, later, by the Savoy. In the XVII century the fief was granted to Giuseppe e Maria Filippone and remained under their rule and of their heirs until 1720. After the French occupation of the region, it experienced a period of great development and since 1814, when it passed to the Savoy again, the town shared the same historical events of the neighboring centers.
Not to miss:
- the Benedictine Abbey of which remain only the central apse and the left side of the nave, the tower and the chapel of the Madonna.
- the Church of Santa Maria di Pulcherada, probably built between the late X and early XI centuries, it was refurbished several times thereafter. Today it features a Baroque style nave and façade.
- the Church of San Rocco, built in the first half of the XVIII century, it features a tower dating from 1760 and a façade, characterized by double rows of columns from 1781, which has been recently restored.
- the XVIII century Church of San Grato.
- the Tower of Moncanino, built in the second half of the XIX century in neo-Gothic style. 52 m high, it is built of brick and features several types of windows, surmounted by a metal angel.
- the Natural Park of the hill of Superga.
- Villa Soley, built in 1830, it features a distinctive rectangular shaped tower with three floors.
- Villa Lavista.
- Villa Nicolis.
- the Castle of the Counts of Sambuy surrounded by a vast park.